Its been a fantastic week. Elder Hermansen is a boss hog and we work extremely well together. Let's just leave it at that so I don't say anything bad about my papi.
It's been great, but it hasn't all been fun. It's been tough. It's been super long and at the same time super short, just like all time is. The number 1 focus this week has been going by the book, specifically -- Preach My Gospel.
If you are prepping for, or just thinking about, or even have completed, a mission, YOU NEED TO STUDY THIS BOOK. This is literally a missionary´s best friend. Every recipe for success that we are given to share the true happiness and abundant blessings we have with others, lies in this guide. BRIGHAM - STUDY PMG INSIDE AND OUT. My first 3 months I learned to do a lot of things "our way" instead of by PMG, and it's been a tough transition. Elder Hermansen only has 6 weeks more than me in ARG (served 5 months in Houston). We're two awkward gringos (I speak better Spanish) running around Limache trying to baptize, but luckily, he's teaching me to use PMG. We're implementing a lot of new things like lesson plans, baptismal calenders, and simplified teaching methods, to do this work much more efficiently. I absolutely love working with him, especially our comp studies (wild brainstorm sessions). The work is a lot more FUN with him.
Now for the title reference: I will liken missionary work to chasing after the perfect girl. Every day, were hunting for girls that will go out with us (people that will LISTEN, for the very least). Every girlfriend (investigator) is at a different stage, with different level of potential and interests (problems like religious diffs, amount of time listening). At this point, we're meeting tons of fun, flirty dames that tell us to come back later, and hanging on to that one that you can't seem to shake off even after 4 breakups (Matt has experience with this, me not so much). Carlos and Maricel are breaking our hearts, dragging us through the mud every day. They've each respectively accepted firm baptismal dates and than a week before straight up dumped us. I'ts killing me inside because every person we meet is like that girl I liked soooo bad but could just never seem to pull (def have experience here, but I think my metaphor is dying). Ahahahah I think what I'm trying to say is that I'm learning to open my mouth and ask every girl out, and to not put all my eggs in one basket. We have to love every investigator, but can't get attached.
This kinda segways into another bit of revelation: the power of the Spirit in conversion. It's tough to know how the girl (investigator) feels about you. It's kinda awkward to straight up ask, but at the same time you can't waste time with someone that's not for real. Basically, we have to put all our trust in God, not these flaky girls. He knows how they feel, and if they will progress. He knows what they need to feel and know in order to do so. What we'll do is create the best environment and avenue for His Spirit to work miracles with as many of these people as we can. I hope I didn't lose you all (I think I lost myself), but if there's a takeaway, it's that I've learned that whether or not ANYONE accepts the message of the Restoration doesn't depend on us individually, but rather how well we invite the Spirit, and at the end of the day, 2 big things: the will of the Lord, and their agency.
Now I'll answer some misc Qs and logistics.
Not sure how New Years is here. Conked out at 11pm exactly.
Its sweet that your art is displayed at the lib, Mom! Keep it up!
Not sure exactly what I said, but the perfect time to pray together will be right around 11-11:15PM Salta. I think thats 9-9:15 Boston. That's when Im saying my night prayer. I get up right at 7 here
Please type up the letter if you want
I've already kinda reached the same conclusion on parenting as your friend. I think we should model the way God does it, and trust in His way - room for personal growth (with the added risk of falling) is much greater.
How's the pension (apartment)? Oh yeah. It'll be a bit of a challenge to not speak English (4 gringos, one BRAND NEW), but we get along great. I like this group way better than the last. We finally get to bed on time, there isn't any contention at all. Elder R and Elder A were big personalities, and didn't mesh very well. todo bien now!!!
Piano - I'm too rusty right now and there's literally no time to practice ever. Sorry - I promise I practice any spare minute in the church (aren't too many)
I'll close with a shout out to Linc and Mom this week - Feliz Cumpleaños!!!! I'll be thinking of y' all the 9th and 11th.
Love you all soooo much